Pennsylvania Insurance Department Plans Review of Two Workers’ Comp Filings

November 14, 2018

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has received two mid-year workers’ compensation loss cost filings with a proposed effective date of January 1, 2019, from the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB). The department stated in a press release that it plans an immediate review of these new filings.

“Workers’ compensation insurance is vital to protect workers hurt on the job and make sure they get the medical care they need. At the same time, this is a cost for businesses, and that cost must be calculated with accurate information,” Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said in the release. “For these reasons, our department will be prioritizing our review of these filings to make certain our insurers and employers are using the correct information and rates are set appropriately.”

The first filing follows Governor Wolf’s signing of Act 111, which responds to a state Supreme Court ruling concerning how disability claims are handled in workers’ comp cases. The PCRB, an independent bureau that makes filings to the Insurance Department on behalf of the nearly 325 companies that write workers’ comp insurance in Pennsylvania, filed a proposed 5.24 percent reduction in overall loss costs as a result of this new law. Loss costs are a component of insurance rates.

At the same time, the PCRB is filing another mid-year loss cost revision to modify an earlier loss cost filing submitted in November 2017, effective on April 1, 2018. In late October 2018, the PCRB identified the need to modify the filing and notified the Insurance Department. It has since prepared the new filing. This filing contains a decrease in overall loss costs of 10.02 percent. Changes in the loss costs impact insurers and employers in different ways, so it is not possible to say how this issue may have impacted the rates paid by employers since April 1, 2018.

“As soon as we learned of this issue, we began working with the PCRB to encourage a prompt new filing with the department, so we could begin our review and approval process as soon as possible,” Altman said in the release. “We also immediately began investigating the issue and will take appropriate actions once the investigation has concluded.”

Source: Pennsylvania Insurance Department

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